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The 15 most affordable states for millennials

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Twenty/20

If you're a millennial looking to live somewhere new, you are most likely considering factors like financial security, job opportunities and quality of life.

That's according to personal finance website WalletHub, which ranked the best and worst states for millennials in 2021. Here, WalletHub defines millennials as those between ages 24 and 40.

One key metric WalletHub considered was affordability, which tends to be particularly important to this age group. To determine each state's affordability, the site looked at the cost of living, the average price of a Starbucks latte, millennials' average monthly earnings, housing costs, millennial homeownership rates and annual child-care expenses. Average monthly earnings received the most weight in the ranking.

To quantify the cost of living for each state, WalletHub used the cost of living index from The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), an organization that supports research affecting the quality of life of communities. The average score for all the places C2ER looks at equals 100, and each place's individual score represents a percentage of the average.

Below, take a look at the top 15 most affordable U.S. states for millennials in 2021.

15. Indiana

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,376
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 65.68%
  • Cost of living index: 95.26

14. Georgia

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,594
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 54.60%
  • Cost of living index: 93.23
A woman smiles in Nashville, Tennessee.
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13. Tennessee

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,528
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 59.55%
  • Cost of living index: 92.24

12. Minnesota

  • Average monthly earnings: $5,157
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 69.33%
  • Cost of living index: 102.42

11. Kentucky

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,262
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 61.83%
  • Cost of living index: 92.58
Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Dan Brouillette | Bloomberg | Getty Images

10. South Dakota

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,229
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 65.83%
  • Cost of living index: 100.11

9. Ohio

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,505
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 62.74%
  • Cost of living index: 92.34

8. Michigan

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,703
  • Millennial homeownership rates: 68.08%
  • Cost of living index: 90.54
Des Moines, Iowa
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7. Iowa

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,545
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 71.5%
  • Cost of living index: 98.29

6. Texas

  • Average monthly earnings: $5,245
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 58.04%
  • Cost of living index: 96.76

5. New York

  • Average monthly earnings: $6,679
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 44.0%
  • Cost of living index: 111.82
Chicago, IL, Wicker Park
Tom Boyle | Getty Images

4. Illinois

  • Average monthly earnings: $5,309
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 59.42%
  • Cost of living index: 99.92

3. Missouri

  • Average monthly earnings: $4,418
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 65.81%
  • Cost of living index: 89.95

2. North Dakota

  • Average monthly earnings: $5,134
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 64.09%
  • Cost of living index: 107.47
Skyhobo | Getty Images

1. Washington

  • Average monthly earnings: $6,641
  • Millennial homeownership rate: 53.35%
  • Cost of living index: 113.87

Two years ago, millennials became the largest generation in the U.S., surpassing baby boomers. Today, millennials make-up the largest portion of the workforce, spend the most on goods and services and account for nearly 80 million Americans.

But millennials face numerous financial challenges, such as student loans and stagnant wages. That may be why affordability is a key issue for millennials when determining where to live.

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